UK will either have to offer facts on ‘Russian traces’ in Skripal poisoning or apologize – Kremlin
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Monday that Russia is wrong to deny responsibility for the nerve agent poisoning of Skripal. "The Russian denial is increasingly absurd," Johnson told reporters in Brussels. "This is a classic Russian strategy... they're not fooling anybody anymore," he added.
Peskov pulled no punches in fighting back, accusing the UK of “incomprehensible, unreasonable slander” against Moscow.
“Sooner or later, it will have to account for these baseless allegations, either by backing them up with evidence or by offering its apologies,” the Russian president’s spokesman said.
Last Monday, British Prime Minister Theresa May confronted Moscow with an ultimatum to reveal the details of the alleged Skripal plot. After her demand was rejected, the UK announced sanctions on Moscow, which included expelling 23 diplomats, limiting diplomatic ties and freezing Russian state assets in the UK.
In response, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that 23 UK diplomats must leave Russia and that the British Council will be shut in retaliation for “provocative actions and groundless accusations” over the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
On Monday, the UK is set to hand samples of the nerve agent used in Skripal’s poisoning to a UN watchdog, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).Johnson accused Russia on Sunday of creating and storing the so-called ‘Novichok’ nerveagent, which London says was used in the attack on Skripal. The UK official claimed that the UK has “evidence… collected over the past 10 years” that Moscow has been developing nerve agents “for the purpose of committing murder.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova dismissed the allegation that the substance, thought to be a Soviet-era invention, was a Russian “project.” She said that in post-Soviet times, countries such as the UK, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Sweden, and even the US studied the substance with keen interest and could have been the origin for the toxin used in the incident with Skripal and his daughter.
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